So today, we are continuing our look “in the Mirror” where we are beholding, not our identity after the flesh, but our true spiritual identity. That’s right: we are looking in the mirror of God’s Word and seeing what we look like in Christ.
We have seen in this series where Paul said as we behold the truths of this New and Better Covenant, that we are changed into the same image from glory to glory (Second Corinthians 3:18). That means that just as Moses was physically affected when He beheld God on Mount Sinai when He gave the law to Him, we too will be affected by the glory of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it’s going to take us climbing this mount and spending time in the presence of God like Moses did, letting Him speak these truths to our hearts and revealing to us who this mirror says that we are! Glory!
So, let’s quickly recap what we’ve seen in the mirror thus far. You have learned that:
1.I Am Loved – This is the filter everything is to be viewed through – the filter of God’s love for us. I also made the point that since we are referred to as the Lord’s “Beloved” many times throughout the New Testament, then that means that not only are we loved by Him, but we “Be-Loved” by Him.
2.I Am His New Creation – Not only can we see that we are loved by God when we look in this mirror, but we can see that we are God’s own work of art, His masterpiece, and His new creation! This means that we are absolutely special, having His treasure placed in these earthen vessels!
3.I Am Chosen – This led us to another part of our spiritual identity—that we are chosen. We learned that in Christ Jesus we have actually been chosen, selected, and predestined. And one of our biggest takeaways is what we were chosen & predestined unto—and Paul says that is to be adopted.
4.I Am Holy – A couple of weeks ago, we delved into the truth that we are also “holy.” And we learned that being holy does not just describe some state of perfection; it can actually mean that we are special, precious and different to God. We saw one of the predominant ways that God sees us by looking at how He refers to us—and we saw that over 50 times in the Epistles of the New Testament, we are called “saints.” Now we learned that “saints” describes “holy ones,” and is the same word used to describe things like the “Holy” Scriptures, the “Holy” Spirit, and the “Holy One,” Jesus Christ Himself. We also made the point that there is a difference between our “who” and our “do.” Yes, we need to be holy in all our conduct! Yes, we ought to live holy lifestyles! But what we need to avoid is basing our holiness on our actions. We are not holy because of what we do; we are holy because of what Christ has done.
5.I Am Righteous – Then last week, we discovered that in Christ not only are we holy; we are also righteous. We looked at several verses in the New Testament and saw that while righteousness is certainly not anything that we can acquire on our own—for there is none righteous, no not one, and all of our righteousness is as filthy rags—there is a righteousness that we can be made strictly by the grace of God. So, we looked over at Romans chapter 3 and saw how the apostle Paul beautifully explained this, and we also saw from Second Corinthians 5:21 how God accomplished this in our lives.
But one of our biggest takeaways from last week’s message is that in order for us to walk in this new spiritual identity of, for example, true righteousness and holiness, we must strip ourselves of that old identity associated with the old man, be renewed in our attitude and mentality, and put on the identity of our new man. Amen!
We looked at Ephesians chapter 4 to explain this, and we learned first that we must be taught these things by Christ Himself (see Verses 20-21). That means that we must learn these things from the Holy Spirit Himself and not just from another man or woman. Sure, God gives us good, anointed teaching, but that is not how we receive revelation. These things are revealed to us by our Father in heaven, as Jesus said to Peter. So, what this means is that we are going to go before the Lord and have Him show us these truths so that when you and I look in the mirror, we are able to say, “You are in Christ, and are a Son of the Living God!” Church, flesh and blood cannot reveal these truths to us; only the Holy Spirit can!
And we specifically saw that what Christ is teaching us is “the truth (that) is in Jesus.” Not the truth that is in us; the truth that is in Jesus. And guess who is “in Jesus”? We are! Everyone of us who is born again is in Christ Jesus! Therefore, everything we are “in Him” is the truth, not who we are “in ourselves.” Saints, the truth is not what you see today; the truth is what God sees today! Glory!
So, as we learned, after we first strip ourselves of our old identity by removing ourselves from it as far as we can, and after we have the spirit of our minds renewed (i.e. change the way we think and our attitude), then we can put on the new man.
And, glory to God, we learned what this brand “new man” looks like: First of all, he is “created according to God.” We saw that this phrase “according to God” literally denotes “according to what God is in Himself.” The NIV translates this phrase, “created to be like God.” The TEV translates it, “created in God’s likeness.” Which echoes what God said in Genesis 1:26 when He created Adam in His image and according to His likeness. So, we learned that this means that God’s image and likeness, which we lost in the first Adam, has been restored by the last Adam, Jesus! Glory!
And the wonderful news about this new man we have on the inside of these bodies is that the image and likeness it is created in is “true righteousness and holiness.” Therefore, we can look into this spiritual mirror and truthfully say, “I am holy, and I am righteous!”
WHAT CHRIST JESUS BECAME FOR US
So, this week, I want us to move into something else that we see when we look into this mirror: I want us to see today that we are redeemed, delivered, and free in Christ Jesus!
Let’s begin in First Corinthians 1:30: After the apostle Paul explains that not many wise, mighty, and noble (according to the flesh) are called—because God has chosen the weak things of this world to show His glory—after this, he makes this statement, describing what God did for those He’s called. He says, “But of Him (God) you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
This verse contains a lot of things that Christ already became for us, amen? He became for us (When? Through His crucifixion and resurrection) wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Jesus already, through His resurrection, became wisdom for us! I believe that means that Jesus was the manifest wisdom of God in how He made the provision for our sin, but I also believe this means we already have wisdom put to our account! But notice that God, in His wisdom, has done the following things for us in Christ Jesus …
You see, Jesus “became” these things for us, not “will become” them for us. So, regarding the final term Paul used, “redemption,” He has redeemed us—not is in the process of redeeming us or will someday redeem us. No, this is something that has already been done! Christ already has redeemed us.
You know, there are some things that we are praying for God to do that He has already done. So many Christians are pleading with God to please do this or please do that- saying things like, “God, would you heal them?” Well, what do the Scriptures say?
Well, the Scriptures say explicitly, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:17) and “by His stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) So what these Scriptures (amongst others) show us is that Jesus already paid the price for all of our weaknesses and sicknesses just over 2,000 years ago.
When did He do this? When did He take our infirmities and bare our sicknesses? Well, the Scriptures teach us that it was at the same time that He Himself took our sins. So, this implies that it was on the Cross! Amen!
So why do we ask the Lord to heal us today? This is implying that we don’t already believe what He said He has already done. Amen?
You see, we need to adopt this mentality in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ that if God’s Word says it, it is so. We don’t care what we see, what we hear, what we feel or what we’ve experienced! No, if God’s Word says He has already done something for us, then I don’t care what you have or currently are experiencing! That’s when we should choose to believe that He has already taken care of it and then begin to act like it’s already so.
Saints, this is how we receive from God… In many Old Testament examples, God would tell the children of Israel that He had already given them the Promised Land, He had already given them the City of Jericho, He had already made Abraham the father of many nations, and the list goes on and on. Well, in the natural, it didn’t look like it, did it? No, in the natural, the giants were still in the land, the walls were still there, and Sarah was still barren! But faith is not moved by what it sees; faith is only moved by what it believes! And faith believes what God says is so! Amen! Therefore, as it is in this case of Galatians 3:13, it would be a good idea for us to, when we are reading our Bible, pay particular attention to the tenses being used.
Well, here the Apostle Paul says that Christ has already become wisdom from God, and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption! Amen!
Now before we look at these terms, let me quickly say that there are a lot of words we hear in church like these, that while we might be able to quote them, I fear that we do not truly understand what they all mean. Yes, we use these biblical words like “salvation, sanctification, forgiveness, justification etc.” but most believers do not see their true meaning. We need to know what these terms mean. Amen? So, let’s quickly look at these three …
First of all, the Holy Spirit through Paul said, Jesus became for us “righteousness!” That means we already have total right standing with God and complete justification with God! Of course, we covered this last week. Then Paul said that He became for us “sanctification!” That means that we already have been set apart and made holy through Christ! That’s, of course, what we looked at two weeks ago.
But notice this last term he used: Lastly, we see that Jesus became for us “redemption!” So, this week, let’s go into some detail about this word “redemption” …
WHAT IS REDEMPTION?
What does the Bible mean when it says that we are “redeemed?” Well, there are a couple of words that are used to define “redeem or redemption”—both of which are used to describe the payment of a price to purchase someone from slavery or the ransom paid to set free a slave who is in bondage. Other words that are used to describe “redemption” are “to buy back, to purchase, and to release.” In one of the words used for “redemption” we see the word “marketplace” contained in it, which is important.
So, when we combine together the various little & subtle words for “redemption,” the word-picture we get is of a slave—a slave in satan’s marketplace to where they are in his possession and under his dominion.
Now if that seems foreign to you, you need to understand what our plight is before we received Jesus. The Scriptures teach us that we were “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14)—not because of our own individual sins that we committed, but because of the sin of the First Adam. Romans 5:12 teaches us that through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Now certainly if we were to live our whole life with not one sin committed, there might be hope for us. But this is impossible—for we are all conceived in sin and guilty of sin from birth (Psalm 51:5).
Now many people are deceived into thinking that they will go to heaven one day because they have been a good person, haven’t done too many bad things, etc. Those people are way off base—for God does not grade on a curve and compare us to other people. Our standard is the perfect holiness and righteousness of God Himself, and this is what we will be judged by. Amen!
Therefore, every person hearing this was or is currently a slave to satan: You see, people need to understand that, unless they receive Christ—His sacrifice and His Lordship—they are serving satan. There is no, “Well, I haven’t decided yet about whether I’ll give my life to Christ or not.” There is no middle of the fence! You either receive and submit to Christ or you have, by default, submitted to sin. So, there is no indecision. Until you have decided to give your life over to the Lord, you have given your life over to sin. It’s that simple.
And any of you young people need to realize that God does not have any grandchildren. You are not automatically a Christian just because of the decision your parents have made; no, you become a Christian by your own personal decision to be born again and become a child of God yourself. Saints, there is only one mediator between God and man—the man, Jesus Christ! It’s not your parents!
So, everyone who is born in the flesh was sold under sin by Adam to satan and are a part of his slave market. And the only way to become free from that bondage is to be born again and become a child of God.
THE PRICE FOR OUR REDEMPTION
So, as we consider again the word “redemption,” we see that a price or a ransom was required to obtain our freedom. So, what was that price?
First Peter 1:18-19 says, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
So here we see that the price paid for our redemption was not the traditional form of currency, silver or gold. In other words, there is nothing of this corruptible world of enough value to pay the price to secure our redemption.
And this is worth noting here: There is nothing you can do to buy your freedom, deliverance, salvation and healing. I know there have been many traditions handed down in the church that we have to do this to be free, that we have to do that to be delivered, or that we have to do these seven things to walk in our redemption. But no, this Scripture says that corruptible things—that is, things of the flesh—cannot purchase our redemption. Only the “precious” blood of Christ (there’s that reference to the “King” again) can redeem us! The word “precious” describes something that is extremely “costly” and “valuable.” This is the price that was necessary to purchase our freedom! Amen!
Now is there anything more “costly” or “valuable” than the blood of the Lamb? Is there anything more expensive than the blood of the Son of God Himself? Absolutely not! Well, this is the price Yahweh paid to redeem you! So, what does that say about us?
You see, we’ve made this point already but it bears repeating here—if God paid the maximum price that could be paid to redeem you and I, then how valuable does that make us? That’s something to think about, isn’t it?
You see, God is the original Jew, is He not? And we know that as a general rule, Jewish people are pretty smart investors. So, do you think that God, who alone is wise, would pay a price that high for something that has significantly less value? I think not! No, if God were to pay so great a price for something or someone that has significantly less value, then that would be considered poor judgment. No, the poor judgment is not with God; the poor judgment is with us! What do I mean by that? I mean that we are the ones who do not see ourselves in the proper light and with the proper value. Saints, we must conclude that we must have at least equal value to God as His Only Begotten Son if that is the price He paid to redeem us. Amen!
Someone will say, “Well, I don’t think there is anything or anyone as precious and valuable as Jesus!” But didn’t Jesus pray in John 17:23 that the world would come to know that God loves us even as much as He loves Jesus. Amen! So, we are evidently extremely valuable to God!
Therefore, our only hope to be set free from this predicament was for the price or ransom to be paid on our behalf. Why? Because we didn’t have enough to pay it on our own! There was no amount of good works, good deeds or works of righteousness that we could do to be set free from the slave-market of satan and sin. No, the only price that could be paid to purchase our freedom was the blood of the perfect and just Son of God Himself—the precious blood of the Lamb! Amen!
Now First Corinthians 6:19 also elaborates on the end result of our redemption: It says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
So, if you have been redeemed by Christ—purchased and paid for by your King—then you are not your own anymore, right? In other words, your life is not your own anymore—you don’t determine what you do and when you do it, you don’t choose where you go and how you go there. And why? Verse 20 goes on to tell us— “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
So not only was my spirit bought, my body was bought. Now obviously this means that we are not going out and doing all kinds of immoral things spiritually and physically because we are God’s possession now. But it also can mean that, since our spirit and body are now God’s, does the devil have any right or power to afflict our spirits with sin or our body’s with sickness? Heaven, no!
OUR REDEMPTIVE STORY
So, these are things that have already happened: Christ has redeemed us! In Him we have redemption! These are not things that will happen for the born-again Christian one day; these are things that have already happened! Praise the Lord!
So, let’s now go over to Colossians 1:12-14 and see the full picture of our redemptive story:
So, after the apostle Paul prays one of His God-inspired prayers for the Colossian church, he seemingly begins to transition into some of the things that God has done for us in Christ Jesus. And in verse 12, he begins by saying, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Now before we get into the verses that specifically pertain to our redemption, notice here that the apostle Paul says that in Christ we have been “qualified” to be partakers of an inheritance! I could preach on this for weeks, but let me just say that Christ is the redeemer, not us. He is the One who qualified us, not we ourselves. So, all of these awesome promises that revolve around our redemption are based on the fact that Christ is the redeemer and His blood is the price that was paid to redeem us. Therefore, we are now qualified!
In verse 13, the Apostle Paul said, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
Notice how the past tense is used again. It is not that God is in the process of delivering us or God will deliver us someday off in the future; No, God has already delivered us! Therefore, when it comes to any area of our life where the kingdom of darkness is trying to maintain dominion over us, we do not need to ask God to deliver us. We need to exercise our faith in this Scripture and declare in the face of these negative situations— “I have been delivered!”
Now the word “delivered” literally means to be “rescued.” Second Peter 2:7 gives us a good example of what it means to be delivered when Peter speaks of righteous Lot being delivered from the oppressive conduct of the wicked in Sodom & Gomorrah. Now we know that this was an actual “rescuing” of Lot and his family from the judgment that was to come and from the temptations that surrounded them on a daily basis. Amen? And let’s recall why he was delivered—because he was righteous and his uncle Abraham interceded on his behalf to rescue the few righteous in that city from the wrath that was to come. Amen!
Notice the phrase that Paul went on to use in Colossians 1:13 describing what we have been delivered from— “from the power of darkness.”
The word “from” comes from the Greek word ek which literally means “out of.” The word “power” comes from the Greek exousia which would more accurately be translated “authority.” So, what we are talking about being delivered “out of” is the “authority of darkness.” So, what does this mean? This means that anything from the kingdom of darkness has no authority over us any longer. Now it did. Darkness did have authority over us as long as we were lost in the world and unregenerate. But when we were redeemed from that slave-market of darkness, we were also made free from his authority. So, guess what? Sin no longer has dominion over us! Satan no longer has any power or control over us! We have been rescued from his authority! Amen!
Oh, but again, we are rescued unto something and not just from something. Colossians 1:13 goes on to say, “and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” The reference to “the Son of His love” could simply be translated— “of His beloved Son.”
So, we are talking here about an address change! We no longer live under the authority of the kingdom of darkness! Now we have been “conveyed” into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus!
You see, it would have been mercy enough for us just to simply be rescued, but as First Peter 1:3 says, God showed us “abundant mercy.” How? By not only rescuing us from satan, sin and sickness, but by conveying us into His very own family through the new birth! Hallelujah! And how did all of this happen, according to First Peter 1:3? “Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” Amen!
Now the word “conveyed” literally describes “a relocation, to change places or to be transferred.” (KJV- “translated”) The Spirit Filled Life Bible says that it “refers to the deportation or transference of captured armies or populations from one country to another.”
So, at the moment we received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior we were transferred into His kingdom. Christ’s kingdom is right now in our midst—albeit in the spiritual realm (Luke 17:21), and positionally we are now in it! Even though we now live on this sin-cursed earth, Philippians 3:20 says that we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven right now as God’s children although we presently remain in this world! That’s good news, saints!
Now let’s look at verse 14 where Paul goes on to say, “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Ephesians 1:7 echoes this verse when it says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”)
Now by beginning with the words “in whom” or “in Him,” we understand that Paul is referring to “in God’s beloved Son, Jesus.” So, in the Beloved Son of God “we have redemption”—again, echoing what Paul said in First Corinthians 1:30.
So, again, the word “redemption” literally describes the setting free of a slave by the payment of a ransom. So, when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were set free from the dominion, the penalty, and the power of satan and sin. He has freed us from our slavery to sin and has restored to us the place of perfect liberty from the kingdom of darkness.
And Paul goes on to tell us what the ransom price was that was paid to purchase our liberty by saying, “through His blood.”
Again, Jesus’ precious blood was the ransom that was paid to purchase our redemption. It was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats nor of anything or anyone else to purchase our redemption (Hebrews 10:4). It had to be the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19). Nothing else would have sufficed! It had to be perfect righteousness becoming all of our sin in order to pay our enormous sin debt. Glory to Jesus!
But now we learn something more about our redemption here: The apostle Paul describes our redemption as— “the forgiveness of sins.” In other words, what does our redemption look like? It looks like “forgiveness.” Amen!
The root word for “forgiveness” literally means “to send away.” It means to dismiss and send away—the complete releasing from bondage to a debt—with the added quality of totally cancelling any obligation and punishment, with no debt left to pay at all (also, “remission”). Amen!
That sounds a lot like the Year of Jubilee, doesn’t it! Why? Because to be forgiven—sent away and dismissed—was not something we had to pay for! Our debt was totally cancelled and nothing else is left to be paid! Praise God, Jesus is our Jubilee!
You see, for most people this celebration of “Jubilee” occurred only once in their lifetime, and for some not even that, as it only occurred once every 50 years. But, praise God, in Christ our Jubilee is once and for all of our lifetime! Also, on this year of Jubilee, all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were set free, and all land that had been sold reverted to its original owners. So, this describes bondage that they had placed themselves under! In other words, they deserved to be captive and under the dominion of another. But it didn’t matter! Even though they deserved their slavery, they got what they did not deserve—complete liberation and restoration! Amen!
And, praise be unto God, this is what our Savior provided for us—complete redemption and deliverance, not to be brought under another form of bondage, but to “send us away” into His glorious liberty! Amen!
Let me end today by giving you a few Scriptures that teach us this:
You guys know I love the Book of Galatians, right? Well, I believe the theme of this awesome epistle that expounds upon the grace of God is found in Galatians 5:1, which says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
The literal Greek rendering is slightly different in this verse. For example, this phrase was actually at the beginning of the sentence in the original language’s sentence structure. Therefore, some translations that recognize this say, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free … therefore, stand fast.”
Now regarding this phrase “for freedom,” the Greeks had a unique way of having a slave secure his freedom in their day. It was an emancipation performed by one of their supposed gods. So, the way this worked is that this slave would somehow save the money that was needed, but because he had no legal standing, he couldn’t pay it himself. So, his master would take the money, pay the appropriate amount to the temple treasury on the slave’s behalf. (Now here is the kicker…) Then there was an official document that was executed, bearing the words “for freedom” on it. Therefore, because the slave was now property of the gods that freed him, nobody had the legal right to enslave him again.
This is, in my opinion, what the apostle Paul was communicating to these Gentiles—an example they could certainly relate to. Saints, Christ paid the price on our behalf so that we could now be God’s property, and no one has the right to enslave us again. Glory!
But what this verse is teaching us is that while freedom and liberty have been purchased for us by Christ, we are going to have to fight for it! That is why Paul began by saying to “stand fast” in it. Church, we have to fight for our freedom in many cases because we have an enemy who will resiliently try and rob us of our spiritual rights in Christ Jesus. Amen?
Another powerful passage of Scriptures that echo this truth about our freedom is John 8:30-36:
In John 8:36, Jesus says, “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Here is Trey’s translation: “So, if Jesus sets you free, you are really free!”
Now the context of this verse is of one being a slave of sin. So, Jesus was teaching this group of Jews who actually believed Him (not the ones who didn’t believe on Him, mind you) that if they abide in His Word, they will really be His disciples. That is when they will come to know the truth, and the truth will make them free.
So, the freedom Jesus is speaking of is freedom from the dominion of satan and sin. Therefore, Jesus is really talking about redemption, isn’t He? And what is awesome about this is Jesus didn’t just say we would be free; He said that we would be free indeed—that is, REALLY free!
Praise God, that means that we do not have to be in bondage to any of the works of the devil! I am, you are, WE are really set free from sin and its wages, which is death! That means we are set free from the devil’s devices and the penalty of yielding to him. He cannot make me sin! He cannot make me sick! He cannot make me broke! He cannot oppress, depress, or have dominion over me in any way!
Now he certainly can if we let Him. He will do everything he can to bring us into bondage by tempting us at every turn. So, if we do not know this—that we have been redeemed and set free—then he will capitalize on our ignorance.
This is why Jesus said that the key to walking in this freedom is walking in the Word—that is, abiding and continuing in the truth of His Word. Glory!
Church, this is the mirror that reveals to us this freedom we learned about today! It is what shows us what Christ has done for us! And we must continue in it—constantly beholding its truths. This is how we will experience true freedom and liberty. Amen and amen!
Glory to God, saints; if the Holy Spirit lives in us, then freedom lives in us—for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (See 2 Corinthians 3:17)!
Brothers and sisters, you have heard the Gospel here today! This is the good news of your redemption! And my prayer for everyone here who is born again and who know that you are today a citizen of heaven is that you will have a revelation that you are freed from the dominion of satan, sin, and sickness, that you have been delivered and that you have been set free.